In the 2008 state legislative session, several Kentucky lawmakers called for an overhaul to the state’s public school assessment system, known as CATS. The Department of Education convened a task force to begin charting CATS’ future course. Their initial recommendations are out and they include expanding testing in the arts. But Department spokeswoman Lisa Gross says it’s more than the lawmakers who prompted this round of revisions.
“Whenever you have a system like this in place, you can’t just leave it alone. You need to look at it occasionally to make sure it’s meeting the needs it’s designed to meet. So it’s time to look at the system again, and we’re honing in on this 2014 deadline, and what are we going to do after 2014,” says Gross.
Kentucky’s goal is for all schools to reach proficiency levels in CATS by 2014. CATS scores improved this year over 2007. But they are still nearly 20 points off target.